Northern Australia Defence Summit

Hosted by the NT Government, this policy-driven event will look at the opportunities for Australia’s Defence industry in Northern Australia.
23-24 October 2019 | Darwin Convention Centre





2019 Agenda

Welcome Reception – Tuesday 22nd October 2019

17:30 – 19:00 | Main Hall, Parliament House

Enjoy the picturesque surroundings and gorgeous view of the Darwin horizon at Parliament House as the Chief Minister welcomes attendees to the 7th Annual ADM Northern Australia Defence Summit.

Hosted by: The Hon Michael Gunner MLA, Chief Minister, NT Government

Day One – Wednesday 23rd October 2019

 08:25    Opening remarks from the Chair

Allan Schmidt, Defence Adviser, Sitzler


08:30    KEYNOTE | Chief Minister’s Address

The Hon Michael Gunner, Chief Minister of the Northern Territory

09:00    Northern Australia as a launch point for pushing Australian and US military and political influence northwards US

  • Making the NT more than just a great place to train
  • Considering how the NT and Darwin can support an ‘outward’ Defence influence strategy
  • Constructing a broader web of military-to-military alliance in the region

USMC Col (Ret’d) Grant Newsham, Japan Forum for Strategic Studies

09:30    Darwin’s role in 1999

  • The support role that Darwin played for the Australian Defence Force and international forces in 1999 – history informs the future

Mark Dodd, former Defence correspondent and current scholar at the UNSW

09:50    Australia’s Involvement in the Equipping and Training of Timor-Leste Defence Force

  • How is Australia involved in Timor-Leste?
  • The regional stability and maritime security value of a strong Australia-Timor-Lester defence partnership
  • Ongoing cooperation and training exercises

Colonel Richard Watson, Defence Attache – Timor-Leste
Martinho Goncalves, Director General International & Defence Policy – Ministry of Defence, Timor-Leste Government

10:20    Protecting the Border & Closing the Gap – The role of the Regional Force Surveillance Group in supporting Australia’s National Interests

  • In the year since the establishment of the RFSG on the 4th of October 2018 the Group has undertaken significant development and capability enhancement
  • The RFSG’s ongoing role in providing Land Domain ISR in support of Border Protecting Operations
  • The RFSG’s ongoing role in Indigenous Engagement & Development to support the ‘Closing the Gap’ Strategy
  • The establishment of the RFSG Training 7 Education Centre (RTEC) to support key capability outcomes

COL John Papalitsas, Commander Regional Force Surveillance Group, Australian Army

 10:45    Morning Tea

 11:15    Arafura Class Offshore Patrol Vessel Sustainment Model

CAPT Anthony Savage, OPV Transition Director – CASG Ship Zero Lead – Maritime Systems Division, Royal Australian Navy

11:40    Defence Industry Export Opportunities

  • Highlighting the work that has been done over the past 18 months to build relationships
  • How is local Defence Industry performing in its attempt enter international markets
  • Growing Australia’s Defence Export ability

David Johnston, Australian Defence Export Advocate

 12:05    Strategic partnerships across the Indo-Pacific

  • Assessing current security challenges in the region
  • Australia’s approach to the Indo-Pacific
  • Enhancing military collaboration with regional allies and partners

Mikaela James, Director US Alliance Policy, Department of Defence

12:30    Lunch

 13:30    KEYNOTE ADDRESS | Remaking our Strategic Industrial Base in Australia; How does the NT take advantage of it?

The Hon Christopher Pyne, Former Minister for Defence

 14:00    United States Pacific Strategy

Lieutenant Colonel Robert Burrell, Marine Corps Attaché, US Embassy Canberra           

14:30  United States Force Posture Initiatives (USFPI) and Australian-Singapore Military Training Initiative (ASMTI)

  • International military presence in Northern Australia
  • Ongoing joint training exercises
  • Sharing expertise, research and equipment

Brigadier Mark Brewer, Director-General US Force Posture Initiative, Department of Defence

15:00    Afternoon Tea

 15:30    Current and future Defence Infrastructure projects in Northern Australia

  • Where Defence is currently investing?
  • Future program of work overview
  • Engaging with the Construction Industry

Colonel Leonard Rouwhorst, CSC, Director North – Capital Facilities & Infrastructure – Estate and Infrastructure Group (E&IG), Department of Defence

 16:00    PANEL | Defence infrastructure projects in Northern Australia

Brigadier Mark Brewer, Director-General US Force Posture Initiative, Department of Defence
Sarah Brown, Director – USFPI Infrastructure, Department of Defence
Colonel Leonard Rouwhorst, CSC, Director North – Capital Facilities & Infrastructure – Estate and Infrastructure Group (E&IG), Department of Defence
CAPT Tres Meek, Operations Officer – NAVFAC Pacific, United States Navy
Moderator: Graham Read, Partner, Clayton Utz


17:00    CLOSING | Closing remarks from the Chair

 18:00    GALA DINNER |The Australian Industry Defence Network (AIDN) will be holding their annual Gala Dinner and Defence Industry Awards

DINNER ADDRESS | Reinventing Defence over the past 3 years!  What it looks like in the next 10 years; a once in a generation opportunity!

The Hon Christopher Pyne, Former Minister for Defence

*This is booked separately to the Summit.


Day Two – Thursday 24th October 2019


8:50 Opening remarks from the Chair

9:00 Insight into advanced manufacturing across different sectors and its benefit to Defence Industry

Dr Rebecca Murray, Director – Advanced Manufacturing Alliance, Charles Darwin University (CDU)

9:30 PANEL | Integrating Additive Manufacturing outcomes into Defence

Dr Rebecca Murray, Director – Advanced Manufacturing Alliance, Charles Darwin University
Captain Christopher Eggleton, Director Patrol Boat System Program Office, Royal Australian Navy
Steven Camilleri, CTO, SPEE3D

10:15 Building the NT’s Defence Infrastructure

Allan Schmidt, Defence Adviser, Sitzler

10:45 Morning Tea

11:15 Developing Industrial Sustainment Capability & Workforce Skills Capacity in Northern Australia

  • What sustainment demands will Defence and NT Defence Support Industries encounter in the next decade?
  • Darwin Maritime & Aviation Industries Hubs & Skills Academies Feasibility Study – Project Overview and Findings
  • Skilling – Preparing the NT Workforce for Future Industries Demand

Stephen Goodall, Industry Engagement Officer, Industry Skills Advisory Council NT

11:45 Engaging and Employing the Local Community in Defence Projects

  • Building an Indigenous workforce
  • Opportunities large defence projects bring to regional communities
  • The involvement of Indigenous populations in Defence

Naomi Anstess, Chief Operating Officer, Intract

12:15 End of Conference

Indo-Pacific Defence and Security STREAM

8:50 Opening remarks from the Chair

9:00 The opportunities for the northern territory in promoting security in the Indo-Pacific region

  • Australia’s strategic position in the region
  • Indo-Pacific relations
  • Possible flashpoints

Air Vice-Marshal Margaret Staib AM, CSC (Ret’d), Defence and National Security Advocate for the Northern Territory

9:30 PANEL | AI, big data and technological advances: What does this mean when considering the defence of the North and security of the region?

Rear Admiral (Ret’d) Mark Purcell AM, Strategic Defence Advisory Board Member, Northern Territory Government
Paul Burton, Managing Director, Aviation Week Network

10:15 Is the region ready? Taking steps to enhance preparedness for pandemic threats

  • Building effective military, industrial and academic collaboration
  • Responding to military, public health and biosecurity challenges across the Indo-Pacific

Dr Felicia Pradera, Program Leader, DMTC Medical Countermeasures Program

10:45 Morning Tea

11:15 AI and Defence technology; can the region keep pace with China, and what does Beijing’s supremacy in this domain mean for Defence procurement and strategy?

Paul Burton, Managing Director, Aviation Week Network

11:45 Protecting Australia’s Northern Border

  • Cooperation between the agencies responsible for border security
  • How are transnational organised criminal groups attempting to exploit opportunities at Australia’s borders
  • Information and resource sharing with regional allies

John Coyne, Head of Border Security, ASPI

12:15 End of Conference